Friday, June 14, 2013

Review: Polished

Reviewed by Shelly
As an m/m/f fan, it’s rare to find category story that is fundamentally strong. I mean that to say if you took out all the sex scenes, the story would still make sense, not fall to stereotypes and you’d still root for the threesome. That’s the way I felt the majority of the time about this story by Turner. But hey, I’m no prude; the sex scenes were rocking. However I actually am going to admit – I thought there was too much sex. I know what you’re thinking -- there’s no such thing. I would have really liked to see more of these three getting to know each other outside the bedroom. Between that and the small ‘why’ details that intermittently nagged me, this was an interesting read and left my thoughts provoked hours after turning the last page.

Rory Campbell and Spencer Hartley have been a couple for the last three years. They’re living together on the outskirts of New York where Rory is a NYU grad student majoring in psychology and Spencer is a construction worker. Although they’re happy together and Spencer loves Rory, he’s also attracted to men. This is something that he’s not told Rory. Jack Rothman is Spencer’s boss at the job but when an accident occurs and together they’re trapped in a tunnel, doors will open for both Jack and Spencer.

I thought the relationship between Rory and Spencer was strong and loving. The emotion that Turner was able to show (not just tell me) between these two was quite lovely. I found myself liking them both pretty early. Interestingly enough though, Spencer and Rory’s relationship wasn’t as strong as I would have thought, in spite of the way Spencer insisted of his love and trust to Rory. I didn’t see the rationale for Spencer not telling Rory of his sexuality. He kept bragging about how smart she is and that she’s doing grad work in psychology to help people with sexual identity, but he didn’t want to tell her about his own. Hmmm.

Jack was just a hot mess. He’s restless, rude, unlovable and constantly having to prove his worth to his father (textbook case of my Daddy didn’t love me). After a work accident that caused he and Spencer to be stuck in the tunnels he realizes that there’s a mutual attraction between them. From their rescue on, Jack’s is determined to see where it can lead.

Here is where I sometimes have trouble understanding when there’s three people involved – I thought that after Spencer discovered his satisfaction with Jack and their relationship, the focus of the love story moved to them. I find it hard to empathize with the three characters when one couple’s relationship diminishes to satisfy another. The more I read the more I thought that Rory’s interaction seemed secondary and superfluous. I couldn’t figure out why Rory and Spencer never spoke about his homosexual desires; in fact one day Rory’s reading a Kinsey textbook and it’s like a light bulb goes off in her head that Spencer likes boys, especially Jack. I had a problem with that. If I’m in a relationship with a guy for as long as theirs is and all of a sudden I see that his intensity for the relationship has changed, I’m pretty sure that nothing about Kinsey’s sexuality scale is going to keep me from asking questions – a lot of questions. It was a bit too convenient the way she just accepted it, no questions asked. Also I didn’t have a clue of Rory’s need for a Dominant, it seemed to have kinda dropped out of nowhere to satisfy Rory having any need for Jack.

Jack was undoubtedly my favorite character because he matured the most. His relationship with his father was a significant part of that growth. Their scenes were really tense and made for great reading.

There are a couple of other things that I thought were a bit too convenient, but they didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of the story. The relationship between the three was passionate, interesting and yeah there’s a lot of sex, just in case you didn’t catch that earlier. In the end it was good story that I just didn’t enjoy as much as I wanted to. If you’re an m/m/f fan – do pick it up and give it a try. I’ll look forward to more from this writer.

Happy reading folks!

Rating: C+/B-

*Book provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon

by Alyssa Turner
Release Date: May 23 2013
Publisher: Etopia Press

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